Spicy White Bean and Greens Soup

Spicy White Bean and Greens Soup

So strange, but I got bloodwork done for a routine physical and my cholesterol was slightly high. I realized I’d been eating more meat than ever, mostly because my husband likes it; that being said, he’d just watched that documentary on Netflix, Game Changer. He liked the idea of dialing down meat, finally taking a page out of my book. We ate borderline vegan for a week and I’ve kept up vegetarian just because, honestly, it’s not hard for me at all. Nothing strict about it, no pasta ordered at steak houses, just adding “no meat” to the 80 in my general 80/20 rule.

Beans have become an every day occurrence, and this soup was made twice in a row. The parmesan /lemon/rosemary combo with the greens plus the kick at the end – pure magic. Easy to avoid the spice – just omit the cayenne. If meat free isn’t your thing, shredded rotisserie chicken would be an easy last minute addition (with the lemon, off-heat). Hope you enjoy this one. Soup seems anticlimactic for spring but it’s actually the ideal make-ahead meal for busy spring sports schedules and those (too often!) chilly, windy nights in April.

Spicy White Beans and Greens Soup

Serves 8

2 c. dried (or 4, 15 oz cans) cannelloni (great northern) beans

1/4 c. olive oil

2 tsp. anchovy paste or 4 anchovy fillets

4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/4 tsp. cayenne powder or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 c. diced onion

2 c. diced celery

1 sprig fresh rosemary

parmesan rind (optional)

8 c. chicken or vegetable broth

1 (16 oz) container baby kale/spinach

1 (4 oz) container arugula or watercress

Juice of 1/2 large lemon (or small whole lemon)

1/4 c. pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving

  1. If using dried beans, place beans in pressure cooker with 8 c. water, 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt and cook (once pan has pressurized) for 45 minutes.
  2. Heat large pan over medium heat and add oil, anchovy paste, garlic, cayenne (or pepper flakes), salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and light golden brown.
  3. Add onion and celery and stir to combine. Sauce until softened, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add rosemary, parmesan rind, and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and once boiling, reduce to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add beans and, if desired, use a hand blender to blend a portion of the soup (making the soup slightly creamy).
  5. Add greens and stir until wilted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and cheese. Taste for salt and serve, topped with more cheese.
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